Users of traditional hearing aids have long complained that it is still difficult to take part in conversations via a mobile phone, whether or not they have their devices in. A large portion of people with hearing difficulties have decided to eschew mobile calls altogether, instead option to chat through text messages.
This is, of course, a problem. Why should hearing aid users have to suffer all this trouble just to talk to someone over the phone? If everyone else can enjoy this simple pleasure, it seems unfair that one group should have to go without. And with all the recent improvements to hearing aid technology, many people can’t see why they can’t be made to cooperate with mobile phones.
What Is the Problem?
Usually, the problem is a fairly straightforward one, though one which is difficult to solve – basically, mobile phones cause some electrical interference with the hearing aid.
The amount of interference can vary somewhat, depending on the model of mobile phone as well as the type of hearing aid used, so while some people may experience relatively minor problems, others might find their phones completely unusable.
Can It Be Solved?
Thankfully for all affected by this annoyance, a lot of research and development work is currently going into improving hearing aids, and this has been on-going for some time now. The very latest improvements use Bluetooth technology to get around the problem, a fairly “outside the box” solution.
What Is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a (relatively) new technology, which uses a short-range wireless radio signal, which usually has a range of about 30 feet. The top of the line products will have a much higher range, over a hundred foot, but these are of course more expensive.
It is already very popular with mobile phone users, and you may already be familiar with it yourself – it is used to send files between devices for free. Wireless printers and the like use it as well.
The best thing about Bluetooth is that it is completely wireless, meaning you won’t be getting tangled up in cables. As the tech improves, you can expect the range and reliability to keep on increasing.
How Can Hearing Aids Benefit from Bluetooth?
The wireless technology present in Bluetooth can vastly improve hearing aids – instead of the signal being simply magnified by your hearing aids, the Bluetooth can connect to your phone (or MP3 player, or television…) and pick up the sound, playing it directly into your ear.
If you have to wear two digital hearing aids, the sound will play through both of them at the same time, so you don’t have to strain with just the one ear. Bluetooth technology is also used for hands-free sets in cars, so yes – you won’t even have to hold your phone while you’re talking! Why stop there? Do the dishes as you chat, or go wild and take up juggling! Although that might not be a common choice, at least it’s available to you now.
When you’re choosing a new hearing aid, pick one with Bluetooth capabilities. It really will make life so much easier. Jamie King is writing on behalf of Boots Hearingcare. For more information on the types of digital hearing aids available from Boots see here.
Jamie King is writing on behalf of Boots Hearingcare. For more information on the types of digital hearing aids available from Boots see here.